By Zach Gregory
XENIA — Tractor pulling is an individual contest, but it was a family matter Friday night at the Greene County Fair.
Tina and Matt Cain are a husband and wife duo who were competing in the Two-Wheel-Drive truck division on a night with smoke-blowing tractors and trucks. They go around the country in their “Buy Polar” trucks for the family business.
“I actually started pulling diesel trucks and we never pulled together. After pulling five times in a season, I decided I wanted to do something different. I wanted to pull. We decided to build a third truck and it was a lot of work,” said Tina.
She is the co-driver with her sister-in-law in the truck “Buy Polar Tuff.” Tina, a Jamestown native, had been in a bit of a slump and hoped that performing in front of her family would help.
“I had a bad spell in the last couple of pulls, so I came up here because my family is all here,” she said. “We tried to break that spell. I had to get my confidence back and that did it. That was my main goal today and I’m more than happy.”
Tina was one of four trucks – along with Ryan Writsel, Russell Nichols and Tina’s husband, Matt – to get a full pull of over 340 feet and qualify for a pull-off. However, three of the drivers decided against doing a second pull because their trucks were too hot.
The top four was decided by a coin toss. Tina officially finished third, despite having the second-longest pull with 347.39 feet.
“I’m really proud of Tina. She got involved in pulling and it’s a family sport. She’s doing it with us and we’re all doing it as a family. She actually beat me tonight,” said Matt.
Tractor pulling was an event for Matt when he was younger, and he said that he is happy to share it with his family.
“My dad used to take us to the tractor pulls when we were kids. We could never afford it, but we always dreamed about it,” he said. “Now, since we can afford it, it’s just something that we can do as a family and we just love it. We like making our trucks look beautiful for the fans.”
Tina said she’s happy that it’s a family event.
“His mom is probably our biggest supporter. She’s at every pull. When we go out of state, she’s there. Our whole family is involved and we are really fortunate for that.”
Xenia’s Marshall Foiles gave it his best effort, but his truck, Kickstart My Heart, popped a safety valve and he had to stop at 254.62 feet.
In the Light-Limited Pro Stock division that started the night, brothers Jeremy and Josh Lee competed for the top spot, both in the night and in the division.
“He’s been doing it about eight years, and I’m going on five. We found a tractor in Illinois, built it up and went from there,” said Josh.
Josh, who came into the night with the most points in the division, started the night with a pull of 269.8 feet in his tractor, “Moolah Taker.” With five drivers left in the division, Jeremy, who was just behind his brother in points, set the top pull at 311.9 feet in “Disposable Income.” But because the sled had been reset three drivers in, Josh had another shot to take the lead.
Josh pulled the sled just 298.56 feet and came in second place. According to him, his brother is now tied in points with him.
As of press time, more divisions were still pulling at the fair. For full results, check Tuesday’s paper.
Reach Zach Gregory at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2124.